Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Virginia Tech expands sports concussion-risk studies to include hockey and baseball

29.01.2013
The Virginia Tech – Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (http://www.sbes.vt.edu/) is expanding its ground-breaking research of testing football helmets to reduce the number of concussions to now include hockey, baseball, softball, and lacrosse.

The five-year plan will see the Virginia Tech research center, headed by Stefan Duma (http://www.sbes.vt.edu/duma.php), rate helmets worn by hockey, baseball, softball, and lacrosse athletes in their ability to lessen the likelihood of a concussion resulting from a violent head impact.

Ratings on hockey helmets are expected in fall 2013, followed by youth football in 2015, and then baseball, softball, and lacrosse in 2016. During that time, all ratings for adult and youth football helmets will continually be updated and released to the public.

The expansion into helmeted sports other than football comes on the heels of new research that allows for better prediction of sports-related concussions resulting from linear and rotational head accelerations. These accelerations result from head impacts that cause the head to translate and twist about the neck. The new research is published this month in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering (http://www.editorialmanager.com/abme/).

The new research is being funded by Virginia Tech, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (http://www.ictas.vt.edu/) at Virginia Tech.

New ratings for football helmets will include data for linear and rotational accelerations starting in 2015, said Duma, professor of biomedical engineering and department head of the Virginia Tech – Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. Serving as lead author on the research paper is Steven Rowson (http://www.cib.vt.edu/people/bios/faculty_bios/bio_rowson.html), assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Virginia Tech.

“All head impacts result in both linear and rotational accelerations, and this publication provides the foundation for our research to address both accelerations relative to reducing the risk of concussion,” said Duma. “Our goal with the five-year plan is to provide manufacturers with a schedule detailing when we will release helmet ratings for each sport.”

The helmet rating system is based on more than a decade of data collection by Duma and his research staff, and utilizes the STAR, or Summation of Tests for the Analysis of Risk, formula that assesses the ability of football helmets to reduce concussion risk. Sport-specific testing methodologies will be added to the website that lists the rated helmets prior to the initial release of each sport’s helmets ratings.

Using data collected from more than 63,000 head impacts during a period of 10 years, Duma and Rowson related linear and rotational head acceleration to the probability of sustaining a concussion in the form of an injury risk function.

“This new analysis utilizes data measured from 62 concussions sustained by high school, college, and professional football players,” said Rowson. “We use these data to determine the best method to predict concussions when we test helmets in our laboratory.” In their research paper, the researchers write, “With as many as 3.8 million sports-related concussions occurring annually in the United States and research suggesting possible long term neurodegenerative processes resulting from repetitive concussions, reducing the incidence of concussion in sports has become a public health priority.”

Indeed, long-term, repetitive injuries that can cripple or eventually kill years after play have prompted dozens of headlines in major media outlets and several national studies, and even President Obama to recently weigh in on the subject. Dozens of former NFL players are suing the league over injuries sustained during years of play, and headlines were made this summer when former football great Alex Karras died at age 77 from various ailments, several allegedly said to be caused by years of hard hits.

In studying football-related injuries during the past decade, Duma and his research team have used on-field real-time sensors installed in the helmets of hundreds of adult and youth football players to study injuries, as well as a mechanical lab-tested 5-star rating system to track and grade commercially sold helmets.

The former can help indicate head injuries that require immediate attention while on the field of play. The latter has provided the only independent biomechanical data for consumers to make helmet purchasing decisions, Duma said.

Duma’s goal is not to end the sport of football, but make it safer while still keep the same expected adrenaline rush and action for players, and viewers.

“It is important to note that no helmet can prevent all concussions. The most effective strategies to reduce concussions in sports involve modifying league rules and player technique to limit exposure to head impacts,” Duma said.

“Beyond this, head impacts are a given in sport. Our research focuses on identifying helmets that reduce concussion risk so that athletes can make informed decisions based on independent data when purchasing equipment, which in turn, incentivizes helmet manufacturers to design helmets that better reduce head acceleration.”

Steven Mackay | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sbes.vt.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>